The Value of Art

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What is art worth? How can a work by Warhol be sold for more than $100,000,000? This critically acclaimed book, newly revised, updated, and generously illustrated throughout, explains the market for art—and art’s value for all of us.

In The Value of Art, internationally renowned art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a lively and authoritative tour of the art world informed by almost a half-century in the business and a passion for great art. With style and wry wit, Findlay explores how art acquires value—both commercial and social—and how these values circulate among the artists, dealers, and collectors that comprise today’s complex and constantly evolving art world. In the process he demystifies how art is bought and sold while also constantly looking beyond sales figures to emphasize the primacy of art’s essential, noncommercial worth. Coloring his account with wise advice, insider anecdotes involving scoundrels and scams, stories of celebrity collectors, and remarkable discoveries, Findlay has distilled a lifetime’s experience in this indispensible guide for today’s art lover.



“No one knows more about the market in Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art than Findlay. His new book, The Value of Art, is one of the best ever published on the art world, and covers just about everything you would want to know, including how to buy, sell, look at, and enjoy art.” —Milton Esterow, ARTnews

“Seasoned art dealer Michael Findlay's book addresses head-on questions like, is art a good investment?... But Findlay doesn't want you to think about art only in terms of financial value. His book describes art's social value and tries to define, as well, what he calls its essential, or human value.” —Brian Boucher, Art in America

“Mr. Findlay passes along his own, entertaining view of the art world's evolution over the past few decades... [He] champions the essential, intrinsic value of art--a subject he addresses with passion.” —Alexandra Peers, The Wall Street Journal

“The Value of Art is an engaging, immensely informative book on the art market and vagaries of taste. Marshaling decades of experience as a collector, art dealer, and auction house specialist, Michael Findlay demystifies the buying and selling of art; at the same time, he conveys his belief in the power of art to enlighten and reveal the seemingly unknowable essence of things.” —Judith Goldman, author of Robert & Ethel Scull: Portrait of a Collection

“This perceptive and incisive book by a legendary dealer is the best guide to the present day art world ever written. It is also a deeply felt plea that people look at and enjoy art rather than concentrate solely on its commercial value.” —Andrew Butterfield, President of Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts, and author of Body and Soul: Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture

“For anyone who wants to know how the art world works, Michael Findlay’s The Value of Art is essential reading. Comprehensive, insightful, and rooted in the author’s decades of experience…the text is enlivened by a wealth of instructive and entertaining anecdotes.” —Christopher Finch, author of Chuck Close: Life

"Whether you are a beginning collector or seasoned connoisseur, Michael Findlay is the finest guide you could have to the current art world. His…devilish wit and infectious enthusiasm for the best always steer the reader straight through the mercenary machinations of the business, social whirl, and profound beauty of the art." —Michael Fitzpatrick, Professor of Fine Arts, Trinity College, and author of Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for the Twentieth-Century





In straightforward prose that doesn’t mystify art or deny its special allure, prominent art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a close up and personal view of almost a half century in the business of art. He engagingly explains art’s three kinds of value: commercial; social; and what he terms its essential value—the range of responses to art that we as individuals have depending on our culture, education, and life experience. Few avid collectors are immune to the thrill of rising market value, but Findlay argues that buying for investment alone is seldom smart. A genuine love of art and the ways it may enrich one’s social life also play important roles. Down-to-earth and with a touch of dry wit, he explains exactly how artworks are valued and reveals the workings of the art market. Enhancing his narrative are wise advice, insider anecdotes, and tales of scoundrels and scams, celebrity collectors, and remarkable discoveries. Generously illustrated, Findlay’s distillation of a lifetime’s experience makes this insider’s guide indispensable for all who love art, not only collectors but true “amateurs” as well.

“No one knows more about the market in Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art than Findlay. His new book, The Value of Art, is one of the best ever published on the art world, and covers just about everything you would want to know, including how to buy, sell, look at, and enjoy art.” —Milton Esterow, ARTnews

“Seasoned art dealer Michael Findlay's book addresses head-on questions like, is art a good investment?... But Findlay doesn't want you to think about art only in terms of financial value. His book describes art's social value and tries to define, as well, what he calls its essential, or human value.” —Brian Boucher, Art in America

“Mr. Findlay passes along his own, entertaining view of the art world's evolution over the past few decades... [He] champions the essential, intrinsic value of art--a subject he addresses with passion.” —Alexandra Peers, The Wall Street Journal

“The Value of Art is an engaging, immensely informative book on the art market and vagaries of taste. Marshaling decades of experience as a collector, art dealer, and auction house specialist, Michael Findlay demystifies the buying and selling of art; at the same time, he conveys his belief in the power of art to enlighten and reveal the seemingly unknowable essence of things.” —Judith Goldman, author of Robert & Ethel Scull: Portrait of a Collection

“This perceptive and incisive book by a legendary dealer is the best guide to the present day art world ever written. It is also a deeply felt plea that people look at and enjoy art rather than concentrate solely on its commercial value.” —Andrew Butterfield, President of Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts, and author of Body and Soul: Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture

“For anyone who wants to know how the art world works, Michael Findlay’s The Value of Art is essential reading. Comprehensive, insightful, and rooted in the author’s decades of experience…the text is enlivened by a wealth of instructive and entertaining anecdotes.” —Christopher Finch, author of Chuck Close: Life

"Whether you are a beginning collector or seasoned connoisseur, Michael Findlay is the finest guide you could have to the current art world. His…devilish wit and infectious enthusiasm for the best always steer the reader straight through the mercenary machinations of the business, social whirl, and profound beauty of the art." —Michael Fitzpatrick, Professor of Fine Arts, Trinity College, and author of Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for the Twentieth-Century


eBook epub (epub)
ISBN: 978-3-641-08342-7
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Biography

Michael Findlay

One of the earliest dealers in SoHo, Michael Findlay showcased artists including John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, and Hannah Wilke. Named Head of Impressionist and Modern Paintings at Christie's in 1984, he later became its International Director of Fine Arts. Since 2000 he has been a director at Acquavella Galleries, New York, which in recent years has held major exhibitions of important Impressionist, modern, and contemporary masters.

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